This album is such a treat: It’s like sitting around a campfire under a starlit, Tennessee sky, watching sparks cartwheel into the air in the neon darkness, as new friends sing you songs, and whisper intimate secrets of the lives, loves and labours of their kin and kind into your grateful ear.
A magic realist re-telling of backwoods dramas so redolent of the Deep South, the heat and baked-in essence seems distilled and sweated out through the musical forms. The effect is like imbibing some strange brew, elemental moonshine, coming on as Southern-soaked juju, weaving its spell on the listener.
Nashville duo Gillian Welch and David Rawlings - she of beautiful, haunted Appalachian voice, he of the exquisite guitar, they of the timeless songs, evocative words, and splendidly poignant harmonies - have made something quite extraordinary. The Harrow & The Harvest is an album that never leaves you, it feels new every time, each song an instant old friend, a quite extraordinary piece of work. Make it your friend on your next journey, imagine a world away under that purpling sky, feel yourself intoxicated in its fluorescent glow, and thank me later for the introduction.
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